Welcome to the English Program

The Department of English and Comparative Literature prides itself on providing the UNC community with a vibrant, intellectually engaging place for the study of language and literature. We offer a wide variety of graduate and undergraduate programs.


In Memory of Darryl Gless

Darryl GlessA memorial service for Darryl James Gless, Distinguished Professor of Renaissance Studies in the Department of English and Comparative Literature at the University of North Carolina, will take place 4 p.m. Sunday, August. 24, at the George Watts Hill Alumni Center on campus.  
Parking is available on Stadium Drive, and for a fee, at the Rams Head Deck.

With great sadness, we meet the loss of our beloved Darryl Gless. Since joining us in 1980, Darryl brought to our department and the University a spirit of generosity and an unmatched ability to lead and create. His scholarship and teaching inspired generations of students at both the graduate and undergraduate levels, as recognized by his receiving a University Tanner Award for Excellence in Teaching in 1983 and the Board of Governors’ Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2013. Darryl also provided a vital voice for the humanities, and he translated that voice into action as both Chair of the Department of English and Comparative Literature and Senior Associate Dean for the Humanities. Darryl’s tireless work in defense of the humanities garnered the attention of President Clinton, who appointed him to the National Council of the National Endowment for the Humanities in 1994. Invaluable as a colleague, visionary as a leader, cherished in the classroom, Darryl embodied every aspect of what it means to be a person and professor. We celebrate his life even as we recognize just how dearly he will be missed.

Darryl Gless's family asks that memorial gifts be made to the Darryl Gless Graduate Student Support Fund at UNC-Chapel Hill. Please send checks by mail to Arts and Sciences Foundation, Campus Box 6115, Chapel Hill, NC, 27599-6115, with a note in memo line (or attached correspondence) that the gift is for the Darryl Gless Graduate Student Support Fund or follow this link to make a contribution online.

The family also requests that friends consider donating blood and platelets and register as bone marrow donors in his memory. The News and Observer has posted more details about Darryl’s life and achievements.

A memorial service for Darryl will take place 4 p.m. Sunday, August. 24, at the George Watts Hill Alumni Center on campus.  

Parking is available on Stadium Drive, and for a fee, at the Rams Head Deck.





Professor Tyler Curtain Appointed to PMLA Advisory Committee

UNC English Professor Tyler Curtain has been appointed by the MLA Executive Council to the Publication of the Modern Language Association (PMLA) Advisory Committee for a three-year term, from 1 July 2014 to 30 June 2017.  Members of the committee advise the Editorial Board and the editor on articles submitted to PMLA. Professor Curtain replaces renowned Stanford linguistic anthropologist Shirley Brice Heath.


Undergraduate Research in ENGL 438: Nineteenth-Century Women Writers

"What if Jane Eyre had decided to live in sin with Mr. Rochester? Would Frankenstein’s Creature have been less destructive if his maker had been a woman? What if Sir Thomas Bertram had satisfied Fanny Price’s curiosity about the slave trade by taking her to his sugar plantations in Antigua? These are some of the questions posed by students in English 438, Nineteenth-Century Women Writers. During the Spring 2014 semester, I had the privilege of working with these students as a graduate research consultant for Professor Jeanne Moskal."

-Rachael Isom

Click here to continue reading this blog entry by Rachael Isom, GRC and graduate student in the Department of English and Comparative Literature.

Carolina Scientific Spring 2014 Issue Published

The Carolina Scientific has published its Spring 2014 issue, featuring articles on self-healing materials, narrative medicine, star-shaped neural cells, the effect of happiness on health, and much more. You can read it, and also past issues, at http://issuu.com/uncsci. For more information about the magazine, please visit https://carolinascientific.web.unc.edu/.

Gregg Flaxman Wins Mellon New Directions Fellowship

The Department of English and Comparative Literature congratulates Dr. Gregg Flaxman on winning a very prestigious, highly competitive fellowship that will fund a full research year bookended by two summers.  He was one of only ten individuals nationwide who were selected for Mellon New Directions Fellowships.  His plan is to pursue intensive training in the field of art history, more narrowly the development and deployment of perspective, to ground his study of film’s “off-screen space.”  His immersion in art history will take him to libraries, art collections and art classes in places including Los Angeles, Chicago, London, Rome, and Amsterdam.

Congratulations to David Ross!

The Department of English and Comparative Literature congratulates Dr. David Ross on his election as the 2015 President of the Southeast Conference of the Association for Asian Studies (SEC/AAS), an organization analogous to SAMLA. He also is currently the editor of the organization's journal, The Southeast Review of Asian Studies. Dr. Ross is the first member of an English department to hold this position. 




Ethos Journal Issue 1.1 Released

Click here to read the first journal issue of Ethos: A Digital Review of Arts, Humanities, and Public Ethics. The newly-published issue's theme is “Cultural Politics and Material Experience,” and its contributors address a variety of topics ranging from Carl Sandburg's poetry and political rhetoric of "hope" to Bret Easton Ellis’s American Psycho and 20th-century advertising.

Also, on Friday, April 18, Ethos published a podcast that features Drs. Matthew Taylor, Jane Thrailkill, and Tyler Curtain. This podcast is a conversation with these three faculty members on "The Future of Graduate Studies in the Humanities." After viewing our journal, we hope you'll return to the project for this podcast and our other weekly forum posts.

We're grateful for the wide-ranging interest and support that we've received from the department.  We hope you'll enjoy Ethos and consider contributing, if you haven't already.

Download the issue, read the forums, and see the next call for papers at Ethos: http://www.ethosreview.org.


The University Gazette Features C19

Earlier this week, UNC's University Gazette covered last week's highly successful C19: The Society of Nineteenth-Century Americanists Spring 2014 Conference. The conference was hosted by UNC Department of English and Comparative Literature, led in particular by the efforts of Professors Eliza Richards and Jane Thrailkill. 

The full article from the Gazette can be found here.

2014 University Teaching Awards

Congratualtions to four members of our department who won University Teaching Awards:
  • Ben Bolling, who won a Tanner Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching by a Graduate Teaching Assistant
  • Dr. Jane Danielewicz, who won a J. Carlyle Sitterson Freshman Teaching Award* 
  • Dr. Heidi Kim, who won a J. Carlyle Sitterson Freshman Teaching Award*
  • Dr. Jennifer Larson, who won a Tanner Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching
*There are two Sitterson Awards - the department won both! 
We rejoice in this recognition of your outstanding teaching.


Professors Jane Danielewicz and Jordynn Jack Win CCCC Research Initiative Award

Professors Jane Danielewicz and Jordynn Jack have been selected to receive a 2013-2014 Research Initiative Grant from the Conference on College Composition and Communication. The grant will be used to further “The Genre Project: A Framework for Transfer Across the Disciplines.” The project will include: 
•    a study of the genres of academic writing most commonly taught in undergraduate, writing intensive courses at UNC;
•    interviews with faculty members across the college to determine what qualities they seek in student writing and the goals they have for assignments; 
•    an in-depth analysis of how the writing required in first year composition courses can better prepare students for the writing they encounter in later coursework. 
Research findings will be shared via the Genre Project website (http://genre.web.unc.edu). 

Professors Danielewicz and Jack will be announced as recipients of the grant at the 2014 CCCC Annual Convention in Indianapolis during the Opening General Session on Thursday, March 2.